I watched my breathe leave my mouth as I exhaled, it was one of the very few "neat" things about it being so cold in the house. I remember sitting on the floor around the wood stove while Mom got the fire started. One of the boys was supposed to keep the fire, but they had fallen asleep, and it had gone out.
I got up to walk around a bit, it was not easy wrapped in a quilt and wearing two pair of socks, but I managed. I went to the window and looked out. There, in an old metal chair on our front porch, was the most beautiful dog I had ever seen! He was bigger than me, with long multi-colored fur, and big warm brown eyes. He must have been there a while, because there were icicles hanging from his fur.
“Mom, come look!” I shouted excitedly.
“In a minute, Brenda Sue,” she replied.
So I waited for what seemed like forever. The dog kept looking at me. I fell in love with him that morning, I knew because as cold as it was outside, I had never been warmer inside.
Finally, Mom came to the window.
“He is pretty, a Collie I think. I wonder who he belongs to?” she wondered.
“He belongs to us, Mom,” I said.
“No he doesn’t, Honey, he must belong to the neighbors.”
We lived in the country, and our nearest neighbor was a few miles up the road.
“I’ll drive up later and see,” Mom said, “in the mean time, we could give him a little something.”
She gave him a little bread in warm milk.
That afternoon she took him to the neighbors’ house, and when she came back he wasn’t with her. My heart sank.
The next morning, I couldn’t see my breathe, but I could see the Collie. He was in that old metal chair again, looking in the window.
“Mom, our dog is back,” I sang.
“Oh no,” she sighed, “I knew I shouldn’t have fed him yesterday. I better get him home.”
As she went down the driveway I could see the dog looking back at the house.
This time when Mom came back, the dog was with her.
“I guess you were right Brenda Sue, he is ours,” Mom said as she threw her hands in the air.
“What happened,” I asked.
“Our neighbors said he was no good to them if he ran off all the time, and sent him home with me.”
We named him Laddie, and he stayed with us for eleven years. He walked circles around us if we went for a walk. He listened to every word I ever said to him, and understood completely. He was always glad to see me, no matter what.
Mom said God sent him to us to watch out for us. I think he must have been an angel. Either way, Laddie was truly my miracle!
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